The arrow is a prominent symbol with a story reaching back to the dawn of humankind. During hunter-gatherer times, arrows were a primitive, refined tool and weapon that meant the difference between life and death. While arrows have evolved along with humanity, they are now an essential symbol of warrior strength and courage. Rather than solely serving a functional purpose, arrows are decorative ornaments featured in jewelry, decor, and even body art.
Often paired with a bow, the arrow in its purest form is a means to an end. Whether employed to defend against predators or used to hunt food, arrows are a sacred relic of our ancestral history. Despite their historical origins, arrows are just as prevalent today as in ancient times, although their purpose has changed dramatically through the ages.
The oldest arrow to date is said to have originated over ten thousand years ago. While the majority of us no longer equip ourselves with arrows for protection or to catch our dinner-- they've taken on a new life. Still, these pointed symbols remain significant in modern culture and society.
When you think of an arrow, you are likely narrowing your focus to a single, linear object. However, arrows contain three distinct parts, each entirely dependent on the other to function correctly:
When referring to an arrow, most minds instinctively gravitate towards the pointed end, which is the arrowhead, otherwise considered the tip of the arrow.
As your eyes travel towards the tail end of the arrow, you'll come across the shaft, or foundation, of the arrow. Then, at the opposite end of the arrowhead are the fletchings.
The fletchings ride the wind and propel the arrow forward. We've covered the purpose and design of arrows, but that's only scratching the surface of the deep waters of arrow symbolism.
Arrows represent an array of meanings, each versatile and unique. With a character significant as an arrow, it's easy to see why so many people adore this dynamic symbol. Even if you don't subscribe to this symbolism, arrow jewelry and accessories make unique gifts!
The five most prominent symbolism for arrows are:
Abundance and sustenance
Following your dreams
Safety and protection
Shooting for the stars
Remember that hunter-gatherer notion where earliest humankind devised arrows to capture their meals? It's this method of sustenance that still holds weight in modern society. The idea is that the more attention and gratitude channeled toward an arrow, the more abundant your life would be. This symbolism still reigns valid with arrows. Sure, most modern societies don't depend on arrows to eat, yet they remain stalwart symbols of abundance and prosperity. You may equip yourself with a comfortable job, home and salary to feed your family, and an arrow symbolizes that modern adaptation of survival, wellbeing, and successfully obtaining the most basic, carnal needs.
For many people, arrows symbolize a bright future where any dream is attainable. After all, you shoot an arrow at a target, right? Well, in the universal, broadened perspective of symbolism, the arrow is the intention and the end goal, or target, is a dream. Your dreams live on the horizon of your life, and they are waiting for you to shoot for them. Arrow jewelry is one way of showing that no matter what, you've got your dreams in mind, and you're embarking on the journey to obtain them.
Arrows are a mobile, fluid device. A tremendous effort of backward motion catapolts an arrow forward, driving at an accelerated rate toward a target. While retrograde movement is often misconstured as a "setback," it's this very counter-propulsion that sets an arrow on its forward-moving path. If you feel stuck, wearing arrow jewelry will remind you that you're never genuinely stagnant, you can always push forward.
In primitive times arrows were used as hunting tools, but also as a means of protection. If ever danger approached, an arrow served as a weapon to defend against predators. Today, arrows signify protection and safety against negative energy, spiritual evil, and any celestial danger infringing on a person's wellbeing.
Wearing an arrow pendant, bracelet or even earrings reminds the wearer that no matter what, they can conjure the strength and vigilance to protect themselves from potential threats.
And while an arrow pendant won't protect from physical danger, it can equip you with symbolic protection against unwanted negative energy.
Similar to following dreams on a forward moving path, arrows also depict the notion of shooting for the stars. Rapidly zooming through time and space, arrows charter a course for the twinkling light of the stars. With the celestial map of billions of stars twinkling overhead, arrows serve as your compass on the journey of dreams, spirituality, and purpose.
As you can gather, arrows are significant symbols that represent dreams, desires and needs. It's the dynamic interplay of basic necessity and divine vision that makes arrows a universally beloved symbol.
It should come as no surprise then that arrows are one of the most popular shapes used in jewelry! While there is a myriad of colorful designs, they all funnel down to seven repeated styles.
While each retains its own unique style, you may find yourself more drawn to some than others. The most popular arrow jewelry styles are:
A Looped Arrow - While a straight arrow depicts precision, a looped arrow signifies the obstacles and hurdles people face in life
Hearts and Arrows - These combine passion with love, indicating cupid shot his arrow through the heart of two star-crossed lovers
Two Arrows Criss-Crossed - This is the symbol of friendship and close bonds, with each arrow representing a person
A Twisted Arrow - These round, twisted arrows represent mobility, fluidity and movement
An Arrow Pulled Backward - This means you are standing at the foot of your dreams and ready to launch forward
Downward Pointing Arrows, which symbolize peace and contentment
Infinity Arrows - This symbol contains an arrow in the shape of the infinity figure-8, representing infinite potential and possibilities
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